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updated: 9/3/2014 7:00 AM

Round 1, challenge 1: BLT with tomatoes from Whole Foods Market, plus no more than six ingredients

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  • Video: Tara Riley's BLT challenge

  • Video: Jamie Andrade's BLT challenge

  • Jamie Andrade of Elk Grove Village

      Jamie Andrade of Elk Grove Village

  • Tara Riley of Arlington Heights

      Tara Riley of Arlington Heights

  • Jamie Andrade took traditional BLT ingredients and turned them into a Southern-touched salad of fried green tomatoes and bacon aioli.

       Jamie Andrade took traditional BLT ingredients and turned them into a Southern-touched salad of fried green tomatoes and bacon aioli.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Tara Riley partnered tomatoes from Whole Foods Market with vegetables from her garden and Fontina cheese to make a BLT pizza.

       Tara Riley partnered tomatoes from Whole Foods Market with vegetables from her garden and Fontina cheese to make a BLT pizza.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 

The vibrant colors of the tomatoes in my bag, yellow, orange, red a perfect summer pallet made me happy. I decided to feature the tomato, an icon of summer. What could I include from my garden; lettuce, kale, chard … does basil go with bacon?

I wanted my first recipe to be something that is easy to prepare and that people would love to eat. I chose one of my favorite foods, pizza.

I learned to cook from my Italian grandma she made great pizza with homemade dough, sauce, even the sausage was homemade. ... Over time I've kept my grandma's loving intentions in my food but I have altered some traditions.

I've made it easier, by using store bought dough. ... In this version I used heirloom tomatoes and green onions from my garden (for sweetness) next to bacon, buttery Fontina cheese and a mouthful of arugula.

Remember to handle the dough lovingly so it "won't be tough" and say a prayer for someone you love when you put it in the oven.

Honestly, I couldn't have been more excited when I saw bacon, lettuce and tomato. There's nothing bacon isn't fantastic in and I knew immediately what direction I was going.

With football season coming up and tons of green tomatoes in our garden I decided to put a spin on one of our game day staples -- fried green tomatoes.

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